John asks Steven how fat affects eating quality. Steven points out that fat enhances the flavour of beef when cooked, and that there are two measurements of carcase fat used in the grading process:
Fat coverage is the amount and distribution of subcutaneous (external) fat on a carcase. An even carcase fat coverage ensures an even chilling of all muscles and prevention of dehydration and toughening. MSA graders also measure fat depth at the rib quartering site.
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Marbling is the fat that is deposited between individual muscle fibres.
Marbling has a very positive effect on the eating quality of some cuts but is only one of many factors affecting eating quality. This can be attributed to its effect on juiciness and flavour of beef when cooked.
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